(November 2022) – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) members gathered to participate in the 2022 CHA International Conference in Murfreesboro, TN. During the event, attendees engaged in networking, expanded their knowledge over a variety of equine topics, and honored the highly anticipated award winners.
CHA Certifiers are vital in order to continue growing the association and accomplishing our mission. The 2022 CHA Certifier of the Year Award is reserved for someone who has shown outstanding service to CHA by conducting meaningful certifications and influencing the careers of equine professionals over many years. This year’s award was given to Debbie Holmes from Grants Pass, Oregon.
Debbie’s professional certifications include: CHA Master Instructor and Certifier in Western, English, and Jumping; CHA Master Instructor and Certifier for Instructors for Riders with Disabilities; CHA Regional Triad Director for Region 1; PATH CTRI, Equine Specialist, and Mentor; Her focus is preparing new instructors for certification and providing support for those starting new adaptive riding centers.
She has been instrumental in supporting CHA’s growth of IRD certifications this year. Debbie is always available to answers questions when new IRD host sites reach out to CHA and works with current IRD Certified Instructors who have strong potential as IRD Certifier Candidates. She has been a key certifier in promoting and growing the IRD program at this pivotal and opportune time for CHA. She is part of our IRD sub-committee which continually is looking at and building tools to help instructors prepare for this certification.
Some of her CHA certification clinic participants have this to say about her, “Debbie is so willing to share her knowledgeable. She made my certification a positive learning experience, not just a testing environment. I look forward to testing again as I grow.”
Our individual certified instructors are the life blood of our association. Without whom we would not exist. Each year CHA recognizes an outstanding individual that has been nominated by their students to receive recognition for what they do best – teach people to ride! This year’s 2022 CHA Instructor of the Year is Emily Padgett from Acadia, Indiana.
“When you think of a great Riding Instructor, they must excel at servant leadership. This leader must lift you to so that stepping out of your comfort zone is an empowering, upward growth with their trustworthy support. Emily Padgett is an Instructor, Program Director, and leader at Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources, who embodies just that. Through her efforts and endless enthusiasm as a CHA Instructor of Riders with Disabilities, hundreds of riders have had their lives transformed over the years because of Emily’s steadfast support and determination. Emily inspires not only her riders but her fellow colleagues to continually improve through research and continuing education as well as mentoring her colleges as they worked towards CHA IRD certification.”
A parent shared this about Emily, “Emily’s love for Agape Therapeutic Riding and her riders has been shown through her dedication, compassion, nurturing, caring, kindhearted, putting everyone else first and the love that she has shown throughout the years with our daughter, Stephanie.”
Emily always puts safety first and applies her years of experience to making her lessons fun and engaging.
For a complete list of past CHA award winners, visit https://cha.horse/international-conference/#award-winners
CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, or to find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, please visit www.CHA.horse.